Today, digital payment app Circle announced the pending availability of tokenized US dollar coins supported by developments in the CENTRE open source consumer payment framework and by a new partnership with Bitmain, which is also leading a $110 million Series E equity investment in Circle.
Circle USDC (USD Coin) is a solution that enables customers to purchase and use USDC fiat tokens for payments and trading in the crypto ecosystem. USDC provides a full reserve US dollar-backed stablecoin and is based on the open source fiat stablecoin framework developed and governed by CENTRE, which will provide independent oversight of Circle’s offering.
Existing fiat-backed approaches have lacked financial and operational transparency, have operated in unregulated jurisdictions with unknown banking and audit partners, and have been built as closed-loop ecosystems and closed proprietary technologies.
Circle USDC addresses these problems by providing detailed financial and operational transparency, operating within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and reinforced by established banking partners and auditors. It is built on an open source framework with an open membership scheme that eligible Financial Institutions (FI) can participate in (CENTRE). USDC will be ERC-20 tokens minted, issued, and redeemed based on network rules defined by CENTRE.
Circle will only be the first issuing member of the CENTRE crypto consumer payment network, and further tokenized fiat stablecoins may be issued by other audited, licensed, participating network members.
Strategic Financing and Bitmain Partnership
Bitmain is becoming a key supporter of CENTRE and USDC, and in conjunction with this new partnership, Bitmain is leading a $110 million strategic investment in Circle. Also participating in this financing round are existing investors IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group, and Pantera, along with new investors Blockchain Capital and Tusk Ventures.
Bitmain is one of the most important and forward-thinking companies in crypto and has become a critical infrastructure provider for the entire crypto economy. Bitmain Co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu is well known for espousing a vision similar to ours regarding the creation and adoption of a new global economy powered by cryptographic assets, distributed contracts, and open source blockchain technology. We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision.
Bitmain will also join CENTRE’s efforts to introduce multiple fiat-backed stablecoins and provide financial interoperability around the world in a variety of geo-currency zones. This partnership will help drive global interoperability that benefits consumers, business ventures, institutions, and marketplaces everywhere.